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Abstract:
The Universidad Privada Boliviana (UPB), the Private University of Bolivia, was founded in 1993. Not long after, in the late 1990s, civil unrest erupted with coca growers battling police in the streets outside the campus. Students and faculty fled, the prior President retired, and UPB was functionally insolvent. Manuel Olave was hired as Rector (President) in 1999 to salvage the struggling school. Charged with turning around the struggling university, Olave realized that head-on competition would not help UPB thrive. Instead of benchmarking against leading universities, Olave formed a team to explore growth opportunities, using blue ocean methodologies like the Buyer Utility Map, Strategy Canvas, and ERRC Grid. Based on insights from the blue ocean shift process, UPB made a series of strategic moves to capture untapped demand for higher education that was more affordable and of higher value for students. Two decades later, UPB is ranked the best private university in Bolivia, enrollment is at capacity, and the school is planning a third campus.

Pedagogical Objectives:
• To explore a real world example of how a struggling education institution can turn around based on the blue ocean shift process. • To learn how a noncustomer analysis can help an organization uncover hidden pain points and create new demand. • To understand how a blue ocean leader can galvanize support and build confidence through the blue ocean shift process.

Keywords:
Education, University, Business School, Blue Ocean Strategy, Blue Ocean Shift, Value Innovation, Turnaround, Bolivia, Universidad Privada Boliviana, Upb Bolivia, Evo Morales, Santa Cruz De La Sierra, Latin America, Non Profit

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Abstract:
The Universidad Privada Boliviana (UPB), the Private University of Bolivia, was founded in 1993. Not long after, in the late 1990s, civil unrest erupted with coca growers battling police in the streets outside the campus. Students and faculty fled, the prior President retired, and UPB was functionally insolvent. Manuel Olave was hired as Rector (President) in 1999 to salvage the struggling school. Charged with turning around the struggling university, Olave realized that head-on competition would not help UPB thrive. Instead of benchmarking against leading universities, Olave formed a team to explore growth opportunities, using blue ocean methodologies like the Buyer Utility Map, Strategy Canvas, and ERRC Grid. Based on insights from the blue ocean shift process, UPB made a series of strategic moves to capture untapped demand for higher education that was more affordable and of higher value for students. Two decades later, UPB is ranked the best private university in Bolivia, enrollment is at capacity, and the school is planning a third campus.

Pedagogical Objectives:
• To explore a real world example of how a struggling education institution can turn around based on the blue ocean shift process. • To learn how a noncustomer analysis can help an organization uncover hidden pain points and create new demand. • To understand how a blue ocean leader can galvanize support and build confidence through the blue ocean shift process.

Keywords:
Education, University, Business School, Blue Ocean Strategy, Blue Ocean Shift, Value Innovation, Turnaround, Bolivia, Universidad Privada Boliviana, Upb Bolivia, Evo Morales, Santa Cruz De La Sierra, Latin America, Non Profit

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published: 25 Mar 2019

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case illustrates how Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, used a social networking based tool (blueKiwi) to replace email in its internal communications. The key to its successful deployment was the creation of professional communities (analogous to groups in Facebook) around specific issues. While the company was not able to rid itself of email completely, it did achieve increased efficiency in internal information sharing.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case illustrates key concepts from “The Social Organization: How to Use Social Media to Tap the Collective Genius of your Customers and Employees” by Anthony J. Bradley and Mark P. McDonald. For social-media-based tools to be successfully deployed, firms should: • Define how the community collaboration experience should function, with a clear statement of purpose as a starting point. • Develop a “tipping point” plan, i.e. a strategy to spread awareness; aim for “viral expansion” (voluntary participation rather than top-down) to reach a sustainable community that should be guided and monitored, but not too closely. • Develop a suitable environment in which the community can congregate and collaborate (social media software, appropriate user experience, etc). Case (A) looks at problems associated with email as a communications medium and describes how blueKiwi, a social media type platform, allows people to communicate within communities around specific issues. Case (B) describes the outcomes, including measures used by Atos to evaluate the health of communities. BlueKiwi did allow the company to become more agile and built the foundation for work based on self-organizing teams.

Keywords:
Organizational Change, Social Media, Social Media Communities, Information Technology Company, Consulting, Agility

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published: 25 Mar 2019

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case illustrates how Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, used a social networking based tool (blueKiwi) to replace email in its internal communications. The key to its successful deployment was the creation of professional communities (analogous to groups in Facebook) around specific issues. While the company was not able to rid itself of email completely, it did achieve increased efficiency in internal information sharing.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case illustrates key concepts from “The Social Organization: How to Use Social Media to Tap the Collective Genius of your Customers and Employees” by Anthony J. Bradley and Mark P. McDonald. For social-media-based tools to be successfully deployed, firms should: • Define how the community collaboration experience should function, with a clear statement of purpose as a starting point. • Develop a “tipping point” plan, i.e. a strategy to spread awareness; aim for “viral expansion” (voluntary participation rather than top-down) to reach a sustainable community that should be guided and monitored, but not too closely. • Develop a suitable environment in which the community can congregate and collaborate (social media software, appropriate user experience, etc). Case (A) looks at problems associated with email as a communications medium and describes how blueKiwi, a social media type platform, allows people to communicate within communities around specific issues. Case (B) describes the outcomes, including measures used by Atos to evaluate the health of communities. BlueKiwi did allow the company to become more agile and built the foundation for work based on self-organizing teams.

Keywords:
Organizational Change, Social Media, Social Media Communities, Information Technology Company, Consulting, Agility

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published: 02 May 2019

  • Topic: Economics & Finance
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case covers events leading to the hostile bid for AkzoNobel by PPG in 2017, the market response that it prompted, and AkzoNobel’s takeover defenses including the divestment of a business area and large cash payout. Various scenarios (as a standalone, after divestiture and after a takeover with synergies) are considered for the valuation of AkzoNobel, as is the rationale behind the various takeover bids by PPG. The role of activists in triggering the takeover process is highlighted. Alternative payout mechanisms (capital repayment, dividend payment, share buyback) are discussed.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Students learn how to value companies under different scenarios (as a standalone, after a divestiture and after a takeover with synergies) and to interpret market responses to various corporate actions. The case illustrates various takeover defenses, the role of activists, and the dilemma of making a hostile bid in countries where “maximizing stakeholder value” is the cornerstone of governance. It provides the opportunity to discuss different payout mechanisms: dividends vs share buyback, and the less common “capital repayment”.

Keywords:
Takeovers, Hostile Bids, Takeover Defenses, Company Valuation, Activists, Payout Policy, Stakeholder Value Versus Shareholder Value, Akzonobel, Ppg

published: 29 Nov 2019

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
In the year 2000, only 2% of women in India used menstrual hygiene products. Almost a quarter-billion relied on cloth rags and many rural women were banished to a hut during their monthly cycle. In these unsanitary conditions, 62.4% had experienced at least one reproductive tract infection, with the result that teenage hysterectomies were not uncommon. The lack of menstrual products was linked to a high drop-out rate from school, forced teenage marriage, teenage pregnancy, illiteracy and often a lifetime of subservience. Yet despite the severity of the problem, taboo kept it largely hidden. Indians did not discuss menstruation. Arunachalam “Arun” Muruganantham changed this by innovating a new business method: micro-factories where women produced and sold sanitary napkins directly to other women. The case discusses how he solved a previously unaddressed problem in a way that created a new market, overcame deep social taboos, challenged centuries-old traditions and bettered women’s lives, resulting in the creation of over 3,500 small businesses. It highlights how enterprises can be economically profitable and a force for good. And why, contrary to conventional thinking, innovation does not need to be disruptive but can be based on nondisruptive market creation.

Pedagogical Objectives:
To show that innovation does not always involve disruption. It is possible to create a win-win for society and for the company that does not displace existing markets and players. This broader conception of innovation and embraces what Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne call “nondisruptive creation.”

Keywords:
Arunachalam Muruganantham, Period. End of Sentence., Pad Man, India, Nondisruptive Creation, Disruption, Social Entrepreneurship, Indian Women, Women’s Health, Menstrual Hygiene, Developing Nations, Innovative Healthcare, Academy Award Winning Documentary, Blue Ocean Strategy, Sanitary Paper Product Manufacturing

published: 26 Jul 2019

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Region: Africa

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Abstract:
This case puts participants in the shoes of the directors of Barry Callebaut (BC), a cocoa-sourcing and chocolate manufacturing company. Chairman Andreas Jacobs is passionate about cocoa sustainability in West Africa – ensuring the cocoa crop (endangered by poor farming and climate change) and the farmers who grow it will survive and thrive. However, in response to a falling share price, the BC board has shifted strategy to achieve cost leadership. Moreover, customers have been unwilling to pay a premium for sustainable cocoa beans. Given the scale of the problem, the company cannot ‘go it alone’. Nonetheless, when the CEO steps down in 2008, Jacobs sees an opportunity for BC to embrace sustainability and urges the board to go beyond goodwill gestures – like its earlier building of schools in Ivory Coast – and take “real action”. Should the board follow his lead? What would “real action” mean?

Pedagogical Objectives:
1. How business should be involved in sustainability and the challenges involved in taking real, impactful action (not simply paying lip-service). 2. Consider sustainability challenges in the context of business challenges – seen through the eyes of the board – and the role of the board in driving sustainability initiatives. 3. Evaluate the extent to which board members should follow the lead of a strong chairman pursuing a personal passion. 4. Identify solutions to the sustainability challenges faced by Barry Callebaut.

Keywords:
Sustainability, Corporate Governance, Boards, Cocoa, Chocolate, Supply Chains, Côte D’ivoire, Africa, Child Labour, Poverty

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published: 26 Jul 2019

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Region: Africa

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Abstract:
This case puts participants in the shoes of the directors of Barry Callebaut (BC), a cocoa-sourcing and chocolate manufacturing company. Chairman Andreas Jacobs is passionate about cocoa sustainability in West Africa – ensuring the cocoa crop (endangered by poor farming and climate change) and the farmers who grow it will survive and thrive. However, in response to a falling share price, the BC board has shifted strategy to achieve cost leadership. Moreover, customers have been unwilling to pay a premium for sustainable cocoa beans. Given the scale of the problem, the company cannot ‘go it alone’. Nonetheless, when the CEO steps down in 2008, Jacobs sees an opportunity for BC to embrace sustainability and urges the board to go beyond goodwill gestures – like its earlier building of schools in Ivory Coast – and take “real action”. Should the board follow his lead? What would “real action” mean?

Pedagogical Objectives:
1. How business should be involved in sustainability and the challenges involved in taking real, impactful action (not simply paying lip-service). 2. Consider sustainability challenges in the context of business challenges – seen through the eyes of the board – and the role of the board in driving sustainability initiatives. 3. Evaluate the extent to which board members should follow the lead of a strong chairman pursuing a personal passion. 4. Identify solutions to the sustainability challenges faced by Barry Callebaut.

Keywords:
Sustainability, Corporate Governance, Boards, Cocoa, Chocolate, Supply Chains, Côte D’ivoire, Africa, Child Labour, Poverty

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published: 26 Jul 2019

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
In December 2015, barely one year into his tenure as the head of the Paris Opera Ballet (POB), celebrity dancer, choreographer, and entrepreneur Benjamin Millepied was caught in a storm of controversy. Hired to bring energy and modernity to one of France’s oldest artistic institutions, Millepied laid out an inspiring vision of renewal and a strategy focused on developing new talent and enhancing the POB’s social relevance and global visibility. In the process, however, he created turmoil. Promoting younger dancers in defiance of the established hierarchy, advocating diversity and social engagement, presenting the work of American choreographers instead of French classics, and openly criticizing the POB’s restrained style pit Millepied against the established order . The case chronicles Millepied’s efforts to transform the POB, focusing on the interplay between responsible leadership and organizational culture. Most organizations seek to balance business goals with social impact, urging employees to be inspiring and innovative, and bringing in outsiders with a “global” outlook to shake up “local” mind-sets. The case explores a fundamental issue for such endeavors to succeed: Responsible leadership entails more than a compelling vision. It also means sustaining a strong institutional culture while fostering diversity and innovation.

Pedagogical Objectives:
1. The role of a ‘strong culture’ in defining and sustaining an organization. Students are challenged to consider the impact of a strong culture, which most will consider a positive feature of an organization, on employees’ experiences and on the organization’s development. 2. Responsible leadership in the context of dual aims. Students must consider what ‘responsible’ leadership entails in organizations that strive to pursue both commercial success and social impact, and that value tradition while clamouring for change. 3. The purpose and impact of organizational transformation. Organizational change is difficult, especially if it involves the defining aspects of an organization’s culture—its systems, norms, and signature style. The benefits of disruption are often taken for granted, but this case requires students to consider whether disruption is always desirable, valuable, or even necessary. 4. Talent management as a lever for cultural change. Students will likely be instrumental in identifying, managing, and promoting talent in their future firms. The case helps them realize the centrality of deciding who is called “talent” and how, to the replication or change of a firm’s culture. The case illustrates the contrast between opposite approaches, one based on formalized rules and processes and the other on a case-by-case assessment.

Keywords:
Leadership, Organizational Change, Organizational Culture, Talent Management, Digital Transformation, Responsible Leadership, Leadership Succession, National Culture, Diversity, Hybrid Organizations, Outsider Ceo, Globalization, Benjamin Millepied, Paris Opera Ballet

published: 25 Mar 2019

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The board of directors of a charity has to decide whether to give the acting CFO a permanent appointment. The decision is not a vital one but is so poorly managed that it leads to a blowout between the board members, such that the charity ultimately has to be wound up. The case thus illustrates the vital importance of maintaining positive dynamics among board members.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The objective is to demonstrate the negative consequences of poor handling of a board discussion. The case analyses the shortcomings of the vice-chair of the board using a framework called Fair Process Leadership (FPL), asking participants to estimate how far the precepts of FPL are adhered to. An interesting dimension is to illustrate the fundamental asymmetry of FPL whereby we minimize the unfair way in which we impose leadership on others, while magnifying the unfairness of their leadership when we have to submit to it. The case is typically used as a “practice” case on FPL before turning to more complex settings.

Keywords:
Corporate Governance, Board Dynamics, Fair Process Leadership, Group Decision Making, Not-For-Profit Organization, Non-Executive Directors

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